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Decyphering the criteria

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  • jrwinkler@msn.com
    Howdy Ulrich. O.K. I ll bite (hey, I m a once was . I should be good at this right???) 1. Documentation - Score levels are spelled out in criteria Bonus
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2003
      Howdy Ulrich… O.K…  I'll bite (hey, I'm a 'once was'… I should be good at this right???)

      1. Documentation - Score levels are spelled out in criteria

         Bonus question #1 - Do you count a photo as a primary source?
            [See my previous post as to this point.]
         Bonus question #2 - Do you count a translated book as a primary
            [As with photos and illuminations… "Depends"… how good is the
            translation?  Is it an accurate translation or does it contain
            period 'spin'?  Did the translator REALLY know the language?
            An example of what I'm talking about can be experienced by reading
            any English assembly instructions that were written in Japan, China
            or Taiwan…  amusing and occasionally helpful… but not always accurate.)

      2. Authenticity - Score levels are spelled out in criteria

         Bonus question #1 - Do you allow "reasonable" substitutions (ie,
            White Oak instead of English Oak or a metal hand plane instead
            of a wood one) ?
            Firstly… think of this as "Methods and materials" rather than "authenticity"…
            [Using metal handplanes are a substitution???  I refer you to "Ancient
            Carpenter's Tools"…  there are some Roman planes in there that are only
            missing the word 'STANLEY' on the side of them to make them modern!!!
            But really folks…  This starts to be kinda' subjective…. but you can help
            your judges by showing how your substitutions would be reasonable.  Is the
            grain and texture of white oak similar to English Oak?   Are the handling
            characteristics similar?  If ya' wanna' wow em'… how about its shrinkage
            In practice, common sense is generally pretty common when it comes to wood
            substitutions…   You're not gonna' fool anyone by trying to convince them
            that balsa wood would be a reasonable substitution for oak…  but you might
            not have a big problem substituting white oak for red…
            Generally what gets looked for here are…  are you substituting power tools
            for hand tools and calling it an equivalency???  (Sorry… cutting a board on a
            bandsaw ain't the same as cutting it with a bowsaw… even if your bowsaw blade
            was once intended for your bandsaw…  whole different skill set involved here
            to achieve quality cuts…
            Big point is… are the materials and methods appropriate to the project and its

      3. Scope - What does it take to get a score of 6 in the following

               Difficulty of material to work
               Number of techniques used
               Difficulty of techniques attempted
               Type of project (this one is spelled out in criteria)
               Extent gone to ensure authenticity of techniques used
               [Biggest key to understanding this section is that what is being
               judged is the AMBITION of the project not how well those ambitions
               were realized.   If you look at the above list its pretty easy to
               understand why a wooden pet won't get ya' anywhere near the scope
               points of a 16th c. Italian cassione!!!   Judges are generally pretty
               liberal (in my opinion) with scope scores…  My fauldstools and chests have
               scored in the 4 to 5 range…  and, in my opinion… that's pretty darned
               generous…   Well… o.k…  maybe the fauldstools fit there… but he chest
               sure didn't… )

      4. Skill - What does it take to get a score of 6 in the following

               Application of techniques
               Handling of grain
               How wood is utilized in the entry
               Tightness of joints
               [Alright… now we're into… "You've made your bed in section 3…  how well
               did you lie in it?'  Did you use the appropriate joints in the appropriate
               places?  Did you use orient your grain properly and allow for swelling and
               shrinkage?   Did ya' put the trash lumber in places where it wouldn't be seen and
               the good lumber in the front…  (hey… if ya' really wanna' get picky… did you
               actually USE trash lumber…  most carpenters did… they wouldn't have wasted a nice
               board in a place where nobody would have ever seen it…  look at your modern
               furniture… same holds true today.)  Personally, the "how wood is utilized in the
               entry" has always struck me as being highly amusing…  "Welll….  they used it here…
               so I did too…" just doesn't seem a satisfying answer somehow… 
               This area gets specifically to "how well did you do what you said you were going
               to do and what was appropriate to do to the piece".  This is the craftsman ship
               section.   Are your mortise and tenon joints tight or do they wiggle?   Have
               the sawmarks been taken out of the boards? 

      5. Creativity - Score levels are spelled out in criteria, but this one
            seems more subjective.  What does it take to get a score of 4?

               Bonus question #1 - If the piece doesn't allow for creativity,
                  (ie, that's the way it was always done or it's based on
                  few extant pieces) do you score high or low?
               [Exact copies score low… like 'zero' in many cases…   This kinda'
               dovetails a bit into the comments on the 'Scope' area.   The more
               complex the project the greater the opportunity for artistic involvement
               and personal expression…  The critieria for "illumination" for example
               is a great example of a criteria in which it should be quite easy to
               get great scores in creativity while staying 100% authentic…  Simple
               six-board chests don't offer the same range of possibilities…]
      NOW… the SUCCESS OF ALL OF THIS depends on how well you did your docs to tell the judges what all they should be looking for to understand WHAT IS PERIOD AND APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR PIECE…  But that is a subject for (potentially) another overly long post.
      Your most obdn't servant -
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